Born in Toronto, Sanguedolce’s obsession with home movies led him to an enduring interest in the family. But it wasn’t until his tenure at Sheridan College (1978-81) that he would be lent tools to grant his interest expression. There, schooled in the personal documentary ethos of the “Escarpment School”, Sanguedolce would begin a body of work that would peer relentlessly into the darkest and most private moments of the self. After college he co-directed the scathing poetic documentary Full Moon Darkness (1983), a brave and moving portrayal of ex-psychiatric patients which remains a signpost of poetic outrage and community unrest. His next five movies would establish him as one of North America’s premiere diary filmmakers winning a dozen international awards, returning home to make Woodbridge (1985), a deconstruction of Italian mores, dissembling personal romance in the raw nerved Rhythms of the Heart (1990), puncturing the myth of the traveler in the award winning Mexico (1992), revisiting a history of family photos in Sweetblood (1993), the audacious Away (1996), intimately focused on the story of a man’s search for his long lost twin brother and arguably his strongest film to date Smack (2000), a challenging hybrid documentary/ drama which follows the story of three brothers into a heroin induced nightmare of addiction.
Steve Sanguedolce belongs to the Escarpment School - a loosely knit group of filmmakers that includes the likes of Mike Cartmell, Marion McMahon, Rick Hancox, Gary Popovich and Philip Hoffman. Born and raised along the craggy slopes of the Canadian shield, their work typically cojoins memory and landscape in a home movie/documentary based production that is at once personal, poetic and reflexive.
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